Attic Whispers from my Attic in the Blue Mountains [June 2021 Edition]

Greetings from my attic in the Blue Mountains.

Because all of us are spending more time at home during this dreadful Covid 19 crisis— and obviously reading more—I have received a huge amount of mail from dedicated readers from all over the world, asking questions…

Curiously, many of those questions do not relate to my books as such, but are questions about my writing habits. Readers want to know where I do most of my writing, and how I shape my working day and so on. Obviously, this is something of interest that I am more than happy to address, and the best way to do this, is with an illustration:

As most of you know, I live in the Blue Mountains in Australia, just a short distance from Sydney, surrounded by a spectacular World Heritage National Park with rainforests and waterfalls, wonderful birdlife, and breathtaking vistas across a primeval mountain wilderness as far as the eye can see. Welcome my place of inspiration.

Our house is high up on an escarpment at the edge of the park with a wonderful cold climate garden many of you would be familiar with from previous newsletters. I love the change of seasons, and autumn in particular, is spectacular.

The place where I do most of my writing is, yes, you guessed it, in the attic, overlooking the garden. Here, let me show you.

Because I do all of my own research, I have multiple screens at my disposal which allow me to ‘multitask’ and have several sites open at the same time. With my style of writing which features a vast amount of historical material and requires detailed knowledge of multiple disciplines, this approach is absolutely essential. Otherwise, complex, multi-layered storylines which are the hallmark of my work would not be possible.

I write for several hours every day – mainly late at night – and think about my characters, dialogue and storylines all the time and make notes, even while walking through the rainforest. Writing on this scale is demanding, time consuming, and relentless, and requires constant focus and discipline.

As you know, I take research very seriously, as authenticity is the key to a successful work of fiction. For that reason, I try to visit all the places mentioned in my books which involves a lot of travel. This allows me to write with confidence and authority about distant, exotic places and cultures which are the backbone of my work, and provide the setting and the excitement a successful thriller demands.

Because writing is such a demanding, time-consuming and solitary endeavour, I listen to music all the time. This definitely helps me concentrate and to focus. Bach is one of my favourites.

Many of you have asked for some time now, when this popular segment will return. Well, I’ve been listening. Here it is!

Previously, we have discussed a number of my favourite writers like Tolstoy, Dumas, Agatha Christie and Hemingway. This time, I would like to explore another literary giant who has had a profound influence on my writing: the incomparable Jules Gabriel Verne (1828 – 1905).

What many of you may not know is that since 1979, Jules Verne is the second most-translated author in the world. He ranks between Agatha Christie, and Shakespeare! And no wonder, his meticulously researched adventure novels like Journey to the Centre of the Earth ( 1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea ( 1870) and especially Around the World in Eighty Days ( 1873) are books I grew up with and have inspired me ever since.

I remember as a young boy reading books by Jules Verne with a torch under the bed covers, and then writing stories about explorers and adventurers the next day, instead of doing homework. My favourite book was Around the World in Eighty Days which, I am certain, has been responsible for catching the travel bug and has influenced my writing generally, especially the settings of my storylines, and the colourful characters that bring them all to life.

But what I believe has influenced me most of all, was Jules Verne’s wonderful imagination. Captain Nemo’s adventures in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea have been inspirational, and have shown me the way to blur the boundaries between fact and fiction in a way that the reader is never quite sure where one ends, and the other begins. This is of course quite deliberate as it creates the illusion of authenticity and reality in a work that is pure fiction.

For these reasons, I strongly recommend that you revisit Jules Verne’s books, most of which, I am sure, you would have read – as I have done – in your younger years. You may be surprised by what you will find hidden in familiar pages which only maturity and life experience can expose. And that, my friends, is what Hooked on Classics is all about!

AUDIOBOOKS

Because so many of you keep asking when the Jack Rogan Mysteries will be released in audio, a brief update is warranted.
As mentioned previously, my team and I are working on this right now, and are hoping to release our audiobooks later this year. That said, we are also working on a number of exciting novel features that will add another dimension to audio that will significantly enhance the listening experience. Intrigued? I hope so, but more of this a little later.

I know I keep saying this every month, but this is definitely one of my favourite segments, as it allows me to connect with readers and share what they have said about my work with others. Because on the one hand writing is such a solitary endeavour, and on the other being a successful writer depends on putting your work ‘out there’ and share it with the world, personal connections with readers are not only precious, but hugely important for ongoing motivation and inspiration which are the lifeblood of a writer.
Once again, a big ‘thank you’ for the many emails you keep sending me, and the helpful feedback you have provided. That said, every month one of you stands out, and this time is was Michele.
This is what she had to say:
Dear Mr. Farago,
Thank you so much for sharing your passion for writing and talent in your captivating novels. You are a rare talent. Each of your books are beautiful pieces of art. After this year of pandemic, just as I received my vaccines and felt safe going out into the world again, I injured my knee.
I have been bedridden for a month. I was devastated until I came across your novels. More than helping me pass the time enjoyably, your novels took my focus totally away from my pain and directly into your page turning books. I have literally read thousands of books. I rarely come across truly compelling page turners. I appreciate the detail, research and development in all of your books. I can’t wait until your next accomplishment is published.
Your new biggest fan,
Michele

Thank you for your kind and inspirational words, Michele. Readers like you make it all worthwhile, and that’s why you are my Reader of The Month! Congratulations!
You will recall that in the last newsletter I told you about some exciting trips I have planned for this year. Well, the first one is just around the corner, and you are coming with me! Do you remember what it was? An iconic, trans-continental train journey, the legendary ‘Ghan’ which will take us from Adelaide in South Australia all the way to Darwin in the tropical north some 3000 kilometres away!
As I will be travelling for most of June, this exciting journey will take centre stage in the next newsletter. In the meantime, I will share some photographs and travel stories with you on Facebook as we travel through the ‘red centre,’ the desert heart of Australia, and visit some fascinating places along the way. So please, stay in touch.

Finally, my friends, just another little reminder about the FREE Starter Library which can be downloaded right now by visiting my website and following the prompts.

Don’t miss out on the giveaways below from BookSweeps.

STAY SAFE, STAY CHEERFUL, and please STAY IN TOUCH.
We are all in this together, and together we will get through this!

Sincerely,

Author Gabriel Farago

JUNE GIVEAWAYS

1. Link To The Past: Historical Fiction & Mysteries

Enter to win a bundle of Historical Fiction & Mystery Novels and a brand new e-reader, plus 50+ Books! $550 Value!

This opportunity is available for a limited time only and will expire on 16th June.
*Subject to BookSweeps terms & conditions
2. Fast-Paced Thrillers Bookbub Follower Giveaway: 

Enter to win a bundle of Fast-Paced Thrillers and a brand new e-reader, plus 30+ books! $400 value!

This opportunity is available for a limited time only and will expire on 16th June.
*Subject to BookSweeps terms & conditions
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